School Shootings: We can do more than just thoughts and prayers

National tragedies can take many forms, most recently we have seen an influx of school shootings across our nation. Although these events have been happening for a while, dating back to the Columbine massacre. We have yet to develop a suitable solution that decreases the possibility of these incidents occurring. Rather it would seem that once one shooting takes place, it sets off a chain reaction for more to happen in the following weeks or months. This is unacceptable, disheartening, and very preventable.

The question on everyone’s mind must be why, why do we continue to have this problem and is there a real solution? Before we consider that we should be asking why schools of all places. Schools have always been a soft target when it comes to security. Besides the lack of funding that comes with most educational institutions, there is also a lack of understanding on the best way to keep students safe. Measures have been taken such as safety drills, lock and security systems, metal detectors, and onsite security guards. Of these the presence of security guards is the most effective, but most of the time these are not highly trained individuals due to the lack of pay that comes with the position. The first thought to this is better overall training for these guards. Although this could be a good solution an even better solution would be for states to employ armed contractors with military experience.

This can solve two prevalent problems in our society, first the overall safety in our schools and second the job complications that ex members of the armed forces face. This would give people with military experience another option for jobs in which they can utilize the skills and training that they have received over the past years. Our government spends so much money training these brave men and women in combat, and then after a period of time those skills are no longer put to good use. Why not take those skills and put them where we need it most, in schools protecting our nation’s future leaders?

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have been affected by the most recent shooting in Parkland, Florida. There is no amount of words that could make the effects of this and other shootings like this go away. We can only look to make the necessary moves to prevent this from happening in the future, and yes tragedies such as this involving a shooting our 100% able to mitigate the risk by implementing the right professionals and training.